An Indiana 8th-grader's refusal to complete a school project as assigned is making headlines. The unnamed girl was asked to calculate her body mass index and give the definition for BMI, which is found by multiplying one's weight by 703 and dividing by squared height in inches.
But instead of providing the number, she countered with a two-page essay. A "proud" family friend posted photographs of her work on Facebook on March 30.
The self-described "bigger girl" opens up about her own body image struggles, which recently involved trying "to wrap Ace bandages around my stomach so I'd look skinnier." Her concerned parents took her to her doctor, "a man who went to college for eight years studying children's health [and] told me my height and weight are right on track." She concludes by writing that her BMI is not only "none of your concern" but is also "beautiful," as is her body.
She also argues that BMI is an outdated index that has "absolutely no way of discriminating [between] fat and muscle." Indeed, a study published in Nature in March finds that almost half of people considered "overweight" through this measure actually have a healthy cardiometabolic profile calculated using such factors as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, while about a third of the "normal" BMI people had unhealthy profiles.
But a CDC study to be presented Friday argues in favor of the measure's usefulness; it found that an infant's BMI at 6 to 18 months can predict those who are prone to obesity in early childhood.
(This professional runner also inspired with her honesty about her own body, in this case post-pregnancy.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: 8th-Grader Refuses to Share Her 'Perfect' BMI
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